Wayne Brown uses a casting vote to take Auckland Council out of Local Government NZ

Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown had the casting vote.

David White/Stuff

Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown had the casting vote.

Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown has used his casting vote for the first time, taking Auckland Council out of the Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) sector group.

Brown had called for a review of the council’s membership, which costs about $400,000 a year in membership and conference fees, and spoke disparagingly of its value.

The mayor said his band had played a conference, and at a previous one in the Bay of Islands “where I saw 800 members of local councils get angry and dance all night to no benefit to taxpayers, I doubted my worth”.

The withdrawal of the council’s largest local body will be immediate and went against the views of 15 of the city’s 21 local boards in favor of remaining members.

The 20 councilors heard passionate presentations from young elected members on Thursday about the value they get from being part of a national network.

Councilors Lotu Fuli, Alf Filipaina and Kerrin Leoni spoke about the importance for them of being part of Pasifika and Māori networks.

Several spoke of the risk of Auckland becoming alienated from congregations across the country.

“Let’s not buy into the JAFA complex,” said Josephine Bartley, Maungakiekie-Tāmaki ward councilor.

“We can learn as much from them as they can from us.”